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Letters to Rev – Cloning Cannabis Plants

Letters to Rev – Cloning Cannabis Plants

Cloning Cannabis Plants

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Hey-hey-hey Skunkers! Welcome to summertime. Man, it’s been a wet winter here along the coast in Southern Oregon. Today I want to try and help those of you that either don’t clone, or clone badly, to up your game. If you already rock at cloning cannabis plants then by all means carry on however you do it.

There are many reasons you want to clone your plants. When clone hunting for breeders or personal favorites it is essential, I would say. Cloning your plants can give you more harvests per year indoors due to a faster turnaround time than starting from seeds. Cloning your plants to grow outdoors in the ground is always a second choice to me, because plants grown from seed do much better in the ground than clones in my experience.

The “magic formula” for successful clones is a lot like the formula for successful plants. A very critical facet of that formula for clones revolves around light intensity. You really need to dial this in and if you are having problems with your cuttings getting all yellow and a bit crispy-brown, it could very well be your lighting is too strong. Back lights off, or opt for weaker lighting. I use a simple 14-watt LED lightbulb about 2 feet above my cuttings—daylight spectrum, and it mimics a 60-watt bulb.

Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…

Cloning Cannabis Plants, Question #1: My 5th Attempt!

FROM: K. B.

“Hi Rev! I really could use some help with my cloning, or should I say my problems with cloning. I have tried 4 kinds of rooting hormones in my aero-cloner and they just yellow up and die every time so far. Never even get any roots.” My 5th attempt recently failed and I’m getting discouraged. I use a T-5 light about 3 or 4 feet above the clones and I use distilled water. Thanks in advance.

Rev’s Answer to Q1

Hey KB. The first thing that hits me is the lighting. 3 or 4 feet is a good distance, but T-5 lights generate a lot of lumens, so my first piece of advice is try weakening your lighting. Okay, now I don’t use any rooting hormones or basically anything else but water to root my cuttings in. Distilled water is not something I would use here. Try your straight-up tap water, chlorine and all. This water has some essential nutrients the cuttings can actually make use of quickly; like calcium, as one example. Groundwater is good here.

A Rev Style Aero-Rooting Dynamic Using a Cheap Tent and 14 Watt LED Daylight Bulb
A Rev Style Aero-Rooting Dynamic Using a Cheap Tent and 14 Watt LED Daylight Bulb

Peeps do successful clones a lot of different ways. I love the aero-rooters, especially the Clone King brand I have been using for over a decade; still with all the original parts except sprayer heads. Make sure at least one node of your cuttings is placed below the holder (collar) because roots prefer popping from nodes. I like putting two nodes below the collars if possible. I think you’ll be fine KB, just tweak a few things.

The Clone King Aero-Cloners Have Faithfully Served Me Very Well for Over 15 Years
The Clone King Aero-Cloners Have Faithfully Served Me Very Well for Over 15 Years

Cloning Cannabis Plants, Question #2: Clones for Outdoors?

FROM: Bundy

“Hello, I was wondering if you could teach me how to do my clones indoors so I can place them outdoors without them starting to flower, then reverting, then flowering again. This really seems to be messing with my yields and my overall resin qualities. I would appreciate any insights you have Rev, thank you.”

Rev’s Answer to Q2

High Bundy. I get this kind of question a ton, and you are right man, that insta-flowering then reverting thing does take a toll. It really screws with Morphology which is critical for things like having all your buds ripen at the same time along with inhibiting inner-plant air circulation which can enhance mold’s ability to take hold. It’s all about when you place them outdoors and photoperiods amigo. Lemme ‘splain…

I root my cuttings on a photoperiod of 18/6 (18 hrs. light and 6 hrs. dark). If I were to place these rooted clones outside in say, early May, which has about 13 or 14-ish hrs. of daylight here in the PNW, the plants would interpret that as a decrease in daylight hours which is a trigger to initiate flowering. The older the clones the more of a trigger it will be. Your official daylight hours are different than actual daylight hours according to plants. Simply add 1.5 hours to your sunrise to sunset hours and you will have your correct outdoor photoperiod. Here’s what I would do if I were you…

Clones Should be Moved Outdoors on a Cloudy Day or About an Hour Before Sunset
Clones Should be Moved Outdoors on a Cloudy Day or About an Hour Before Sunset

First of all, place your clones outdoors, larger, later in the season, I like the second week of June to halfway through June. The daylight hours in mid-June work really well here for a seamless transition while staying in vegetative mode. Also, I would root cuttings on a 16/8 photoperiod rather than 18/6 and never, ever use a 24 hr. ON photoperiod, ugh. That should fix ya up. Cheers.

Cloning Cannabis Plants, Question #3: Is Damage While Rooting Permanent?

FROM: Charlie B.

See Also
cannabis world news organic growing pests disease magnified cannabis plant tip

“Hello there, Rev. I have read many of your articles and all your books, but I can’t find anything about my suspected cloning issue. Sometimes it is rough for me rooting cuttings in Rockwool cubes and they get pretty yellow and a bit crispy before they start growing well again. Can this cause permanent problems for the clones as well as the down the line in a negative way?

Here’s a Rooted Clone That is Damaged Enough That It Could Affect Future Clones from It
Here’s a Rooted Clone That is Damaged Enough That It Could Affect Future Clones from It

I noticed after a particularly rough rooting, during some high heat, those clones and even clones of those clones that rooted well, seemed to be less awesome than the clones before that one rough rooting. Am I imagining this or what? Thanks Rev, you have helped me a lot over the years.”

Rev’s Answer to Q3

Howdy man, and yup. You bet it can. I have seen this many times in the past and have experienced it personally several times myself. In the photo above you can see a clone, now rooted, that had a super rough time creating roots. This clone took damage clearly visible, to a level that can cause permanent damage to itself and all clones taken from her in the future. Sometimes they develop pesky traits like loss of Turgor pressure, and having a hard time supporting their own branches. Sometimes things like weird leaf mutations. Other times, it can be more critical systems affected. Like resin production and properties. Weaknesses to molds, or parasitic attack. Even sexual mutations can result with hermaphrodites (“nanners” in later flowering) becoming a problem.

I Keep Mother Clones Under the Same T-5 Lights as Freshly Rooted Clones
I Keep Mother Clones Under the Same T-5 Lights as Freshly Rooted Clones

This is why it’s super important to keep your rooting cuttings healthy and green throughout the process of becoming a rooted clone from a cutting. This way you get a “perfect” copy of your chosen female (or male) cannabis plant every time. Yay you! The Clone King cloners are my absolute favorite, and all you need to do is run tap water in them; chlorine and all. Boom!

Afterword

Well, I sure hope you enjoyed this article and took something valuable away from it. Remember you don’t need to add anything else but tap water to an aero-cloner. This keeps your cloner clean way longer, I only have to clean mine like three times a year, and my rooting percentage is up around 95% or so. One cool trick I use is letting my cuttings sit in shot glasses of water (tap) for 24 hours before placing them in the cloner. I drop the cuttings straight into these shot glasses immediately after taking them.

Letting Cuttings Sit in Shot Glasses of Water for 24 Hours Prior to Being in the Cloner Works Very Well
Letting Cuttings Sit in Shot Glasses of Water for 24 Hours Prior to Being in the Cloner Works Very Well

If you like the “Letters” to Rev series, here’s another taste for ya: Letters to Rev – Weird Cannabis Growing Problems. Make sure to drop by Kingdom Organic Seeds  (KOS) and check out some kickass cannabis genetics—my springtime recommendation is Fat Tuesday! Don’t miss out on the ‘Gamblers section at KOS for some great deals too.

Keeping Track of Cannabis Clones is Easy Using a Dry Erase Board
Keeping Track of Cannabis Clones is Easy Using a Dry Erase Board

That’s it for me for today, I’ll catch ya all back here again soon, and until then, keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down, heh heh. L8r G8rs…

  • REv 😊

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